Should Mom and Pop Stores Be Illegal?

In its “Intelligence Report,” the weekly tabloid, Parade, posed the question, “Should homeschooling be illegal?” as its weekly poll, and the query sparked a few thoughts. Aside from wondering if the name of the report is an intentional malapropism, the question caused me to consider whether mom and pop stores should be illegal. After all, now that Walmart has ridden onto the retail scene, consumers can have all their needs met in one tidy big box.

Unlike Walmart, mom and pop stores tend to be highly individual and focused directly on the needs of their own small target market. They don’t carry 47 brands of cereal or 18 kinds of ant poison– they just carry the things they believe to be best. Mom and pop stores may not be open at 2 a.m. for those late-running party needs, and worse yet, they may not offer the economies of scale that are available to a global behemoth.

Of course, I realize that family-owned businesses are traditional, and have been around many centuries longer than Walmart, but they simply aren’t efficient. Walmart’s big box business model is doubtless the wave of the future, and consumers should probably just accept that. Old fashioned consumers who feel entitled to customer service and a personal touch when they shop must be forced to adapt, and perhaps the best way to hasten the process would be to make mom and pop stores illegal.

If homeschooling and small, family-owned businesses are made illegal, society would be on its way to genuine assembly-line living. The overwhelming quality and efficiency of institutional schooling and big-box retailing are apparent. Even though they are both relatively recent historical innovations (it’s hard to believe that society bumbled on without them for thousands of years), they have immeasurably advanced the cause of mediocrity.

Therefore, if it would be a good idea to make homeschooling illegal, it would probably be a good idea to do the same for those outside-the-box mom and pop stores. After all, who needs quality, personal attention, or customized curriculum/inventory when they could have a virtually unlimited selection of cheap, mass-produced products that almost work?

There’s still time to vote in the Parade poll, if you’d like to do so.


HEAV’s 25th anniversary convention begins on Thursday with some excellent free workshops. They’ve also provided discount coupons in the Richmond Times Dispatch. Convention is always an educational, inspiring experience- I hope to see you there! We will be in booth 403 in the exhibitor hall.

The Homeschool Carnival is being hosted this week on Tami Fox’s blog, and there are many interesting posts, all neatly organized in academic categories.

Evaluating Writing the Easy Way! is going to be ready in time for the convention this weekend (and available at the website soon after)! I haven’t seen it yet, but the printer called this morning to tell me it was printing nicely, and would be ready.

This is a topic that’s close to my heart, and I wanted to make the book short and accessible enough that it would be read and used, rather than placed on a shelf and forgotten. I’ve covered the basics in just 32 information-packed pages, with plenty of links and resources to help you become a better writing evaluator. I hope you’ll find it helpful!

5 Responses

  1. Anne says:

    Thanks for commenting on this! My MIL sent me a copy of the article that she had clipped from Parade. Richard Kahlenberg, one of the authors quoted, said, “the case pits those who believe parental rights are paramount against those who place a premium on well-educated citizens.” And there it is… a sneaky way to say that homeschooled children are not “well-educated.” Aaagh!


  2. Kimmie says:

    Hi Janice;

    Sometimes I ponder how such things can even become a topic of conversation in the year 2008-but then I look back to the homeschooling situation that happened due to a Judge in California and then realize that there is still a spiritual warfare going on around us.

    Hope you have a prosperous time at your convention….25 years, wow, I think our Ct convention is 15 years old this year.

    Your new book sounds great!

    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

  3. Anna says:

    Hello, I arrived via the carnival at The Common Room.
    You know, I’ve grown to dislike Wal-Mart. Truly, they very rarely have what I need, because they can’t sell 100 of them.
    I didn’t realize it was in sync with my philosphy of homeschooling! Very perceptive.

  4. Carol says:

    Your post reminds me of the funny article circulating around the web titled “Home Eating a Threat to Public Kitchens”
    Very funny and clever!


  1. June 10, 2008

    […] of interest are the post about Parade magazine’s recent homeschooling article (that one got my feathers ruffled) and the one about homeschooling stereotypes (see how many do and […]

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